The Arabs' response to the policy of Turkification took different forms. On the linguistic front, the response crystalized in the form of repeated calls for the revitalisation of the Arabic language and for its use as the language of education and administration in the Arabic-speaking parts of the Ottoman Empire. The conference of Arab activists which took place in Paris in 1913 demanded the use of Arabic, instead of Turkish, as the medium of instruction in all the primary schools in the provinces of the Fertile Crescent. It also called for the building of new secondary schools in which Arabic would be the medium of instruction, leaving Turkish as the language of teaching in the old government schools in what appears to have been a conciliatory attempt at placating the Ottoman authorities. As a result of these demands, and the agreement which was reached between the Arab activists and the Ottoman authorities, two secondary schools were started, one in Damascus and the other in Beirut. Although Arabic was adopted as the language of instruction in these schools, this experiment ran into the ground very quickly soon after the start of World War I.